What is a keyword funnel?
The term keyword funnel refers to using the keyword searches by users and categorizing them into the stages of where a user might be in their purchase journey (also known as a purchase funnel). Categorizing the keywords in this fashion requires a funnel approach, as a result of going from broad subjects to more specific thoughts.
For instance, “shoes”, is a very broad and general keyword. It can be narrowed down to “men’s white shoes”, and become even more specific with “men’s size 10 white Air Jordans”. Each of these three searches shows that the user is in a different stage of their buying process. The initial broad search means they are in the initial “research” or “awareness” stage. In this example, they have the color figured out and have considered white shoes. A specific search shows the user knows what they want, with a strong intent to buy.
Each buying stage requires a different strategy in order to get buyers to move into the next stage. The goal at each stage is not to make a sale, but to move the buyer to the next stage of the process.
Recently, in particular, potential customers are researching a product before they decide to purchase it. Luckily, researching and getting product information has become very easy. Interestingly in B2B transactions, customers completed almost 60% of the buying decision, such as researching options, prices, brands, etc., before looking into specific products or services. And in B2C, 60% of consumers started their research on a search engine before heading to a specific website.
Most buyers go through the same process and stages before purchasing a product or service. The process starts with a need or want, information and research gathering, and weighing their options in the marketplace. Finally, the consumer decides whether or not to purchase the product or service. A consumer’s search queries vary by the stage of the buying decision process they are in.
As a retailer or business, it’s important to understand a potential customer’s buying process, to target customers at each stage. Customers are in control, and businesses must align their keyword strategies with the potential customer’s buying decision process.
We at GrowByData collected Google Shopping Ads data using Search Marketing Marketing on 302 “Apparel and Accessories” category search keywords. According to Google’s Keyword Planner, the max search volume of the chosen keywords is 3.2 million per month. We found a total of 4,288 distinct advertisers with almost 100K unique ads for the chosen keywords.
In order to analyze the keyword funnel stage performance and competitive landscape, we categorized the keywords into three stages of the buyer’s purchase process: “Awareness” (63), “Consideration” (211), and “Intent” (28) and performed a comparative analysis.
A summary of our findings is shown in Table #1 below.
Though the “consideration” phase has the largest number of advertisers and ads detected, the data shows the “awareness” stage as the most competitive area, with 39 advertisers per keyword. This is followed by “intent” (24), then “consideration”, with just 15 advertisers per keyword. The total ads per keyword in the “awareness” (3058) and “consideration” (3,090) phases are similar, while the “intent” phase has around 1,124 ads detected per keyword during the ad data collection period.
Here are some additional insights we found:
Competitive Dynamics by Funnel Stage
The Google Shopping Ads data for these funnel keywords showed that out of the 4,288 distinct advertisers we analyzed, around 57% of them were competing for search keywords that were in the “awareness” stage. Only 16% of the advertisers were competing for keywords from the “intent” stage and 75% of advertisers were found competing for search keywords from the “consideration” stage.
Next, we wanted to find out which advertisers were the most prominent at each funnel stage. Graph #1 shows that “Shein” and “Old Navy” were among the top five advertisers for all three funnel stages. Meaning, those retailers have a greater chance of conversion because they are relevant on all three stages of a buyer’s purchase process. However, “Shien” has a much larger presence at the “intent” stage, suggesting they have much room for improvement in the other two stages.
We went a step further to analyze how these top five advertisers were performing at a regional level. From Graph #2 below, we noticed that the advertiser ‘Romwe’ has a good presence (7 to 8%) in the Intent phase at three regions except California, where they have a low presence (2%). This presented an opportunity for this advertiser in California.
Google Shopping Ads data showed 42% of impressions were on search queries in the “awareness” stage and 43% were “consideration” stage keywords. Only approximately 15% of the impressions were on search queries in the “intent” stage.
Digging further into the impressions data by region, Graph #4 below shows that keywords from the “awareness” stage were getting the most impressions from Virginia (45%) and California (46%). Conversely, the “consideration” stage keywords had higher impressions in Ohio (45%) and Oregon (47%). This type of regional intelligence insight can help advertisers decide which region to focus on for their specific funnel stage keyword targeting.
We also found the majority of the impressions (over 75%) in all three stages came from mobile devices. Per Graph #5 below, under 25% of the impressions in all three stages came from desktop devices. This reinforces the importance of advertising on mobile platforms.
Review and Ratings
Ad Intelligence data shows at which stage keywords have the highest usage of review and ratings in specific regions. Out of the 900,000 total ads from our keywords, 40% of them had reviews and ratings. In Graph #6 below, we created visibility into which region had a higher percentage of ads with reviews and ratings. It appears review and ratings were more popular in Virginia on all three funnel stages. Ohio seemed to have the least ads with review and ratings for its “intent” stage keywords. With this in mind, including review and ratings on “intent” stage keywords in the Ohio region could be a way for an ad to stand out.
As shown in Table #1 above, 32 different inventory ads were used for “awareness” stage funnel keywords, 47 for “consideration” stage keywords, and 13 for keywords in the “intent” stage. Graph #7 below shows the top five tags used nationwide at each funnel stage. “Pick up today” was the most popular choice in all three stages, followed by “in store”.
Digging deeper into inventory ads usage in Graph #8, we analyzed which tags were the most popular at each stage, in different regions. “Pick up today”, is the most popular choice in all three regions except Oregon, where “free 3-day” seemed to be the most popular option. Information like this can help a retailer employ the best inventory ads in each region.
Discovering the importance of having popular inventory ads mentioned in Graphs #7 and #8 above, we analyzed the data to see the difference in the position of ads with and without inventory ads. Graph #9 below shows the average position of ads with inventory ads was three spots higher in the “awareness” stage, one spot higher in the “consideration” stage and six spots higher in the “intent” stage.
Keyword Funnel Process Conclusion
Ad Intelligence can provide granular level ad data to empower keyword funnel strategy. Advertisers can group these keywords based on purchasing funnel stages and analyze the competitive landscape, based on the funnel stages. This tool collects ad content from multiple locations in near real-time and provides a competitive landscape of strategic keywords, which can be grouped to perform comparative analyses by funnel stage.
This analysis provides insight into current competitiveness by funnel stages and reveals what’s working well and what needs improvement. The detailed insights into ranking ads’ content can help to optimize underperforming ads.
Receiving this level of comprehensive data in near real-time makes the decision-making process for retailers on product ads more cost-effective and efficient while increasing conversion rates. Analysis on this level provides visibility into performing ads’ content, extension, and annotations in each funnel stage in various regions, which provides the ability to optimize ad content for better campaign strategy and ad rank improvement.
Interested in learning more about ad intelligence? Email us at email@example.com to schedule a demo today!